March 18, 2011
The U.S. Embassy this week denied famed Afghan women’s rights activist Malalai Joya a visa to the United States for an extensive speaking tour that was to kick off on Saturday March 19th. Americans are being denied the right to hear from an on-the-ground activist how the war is affecting ordinary Afghans, especially women.
Read AWM’s press release about it here.
FOUR THINGS YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT:
1. Urge your elected representatives to send a letter urging the U.S. Embassy to reconsider their decision
Representatives Jim McDermott, Jay Inslee, Keith Ellison, Peter Welch, Betty McCollum, and Senators Patrick Leahy, Patty Murray, Bernard Sanders, and Bill Pascrell signed a letter on Friday March 18th, urging the US Embassy to grant Malalai Joya a visa. A copy of the letter can be found here.
Ask your Senator or Representative to draft and sign a similar letter. Email us for details if you have a representative interested in supporting Malalai Joya. The more elected representatives that send letters, the greater the chance that the U.S. Embassy will reverse their visa denial.
2. Sign an online petition demanding Malalai Joya be granted a visa to the United States
Click here to sign the petition. Then, send it to all your friends and post it on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
3. Attend one of the many events organized for Malalai around the country
Whether she gets to the U.S. or not it is imperative that the events go on as scheduled. If she is unable to be physically present organizers will attempt to have her speak to the audience via live video chat. Transform the events into “free-speech” events, to affirm your right to hear from people like Malalai Joya.
Details of Malalai’s tour are here.
4. Demand media coverage of Malalai’s Visa Denial
Contact local and national media urging them to cover Malalai Joya’s visa exclusion. The denial of a visa to Afghanistan’s most intrepid and well known feminist should make headlines! Point them to our press release for details.